How do you know whether your boat is ready for a safe summer boating season and complies with new U.S. Coast Guard regulations? A no-cost, no-penalty vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadrons/America’s Boating Club can help.
It’s a hassle-free process. Scheduled inspections are often offered at launch ramps, marinas and boat clubs, or appointments can be made for a vessel examiner to come to your boat. Upon successful completion of the exam, which typically takes less than 30 minutes, the vessel is awarded a decal that informs law enforcement and safety agencies that your boat was in full compliance with all federal and state boating laws during a safety check for that year. If your boat does not pass, you are provided with a written report stating how to correct any discrepancies.
So just what items do vessels typically fail on this important early season inspection? According to the US Power Squadrons/America’s Boating Club, the top three reasons are: navigation lights, 19 percent; fire extinguishers, 18 percent; and distress signals,16 percent.
“The numbers tell us a vessel safety check can help owners of every type of boat,” said BoatUS Foundation assistant director of boating safety Ted Sensenbrenner. “Nearly as many ‘open’ type vessels fail vessel safety checks (44 percent) as those with enclosed cabins (47 percent). A vessel safety check on either type can help a bad day get a lot better, or potentially save a life.”
Boat clubs, marinas, boat yards, and municipalities with launch ramps are encouraged to schedule a vessel safety check day at their property. Go to cgaux.org/vsc to learn more. The program is sponsored by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.
For more information on boating safety, visit boatus.com.
To acknowledge National Safe Boating Week (May 20-26), members of America’s Boating Club Wilmington (ABCW) will offer free Vessel Safety Checks and information on boating educational opportunities on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at two locations in Rock Hall, MD: North Point Marina and Bayside Landing Park. Members have also scheduled a boaters Nautical Flea Market on the same date from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Point Marina. Last year ABCW’s two vessel safety officers completed approximately 60 Vessel Safety Checks! For more information, email [email protected]